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Year after Rice praise, Wiki slammed Natwar

delhi Updated: Oct 28, 2011 01:12 IST
Jayanth Jacob

Little over a year from praising his pivotal role in the India-US nuclear cooperation, Americans were hitting out at the former foreign minister for “stoking” anti-Americanism, reveals the US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

As reported by HT, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in her forthcoming book 'In No Higher Honor', talks of the key role Natwar Singh played in convincing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was not sure whether he could sell the pact in New Delhi.

In what is contrary to perception, Rice, a key insider of the Bush administration, narrates the role Natwar Singh played in convincing a reluctant Manmohan Singh for the July 18, 2005, India-US joint statement that envisaged the nuclear deal, for which the PM had even staked his United Progressive Alliance-1 government.

A confidential cable from the US embassy sent in August 2006 by US deputy chief of mission, Geoff Pyatt, descries how Natwar Singh and Jaswant Singh, “Two grumpy old men... Hijack national politics” and are “stoking anti-Americanism”.

Natwar's offensive after the Volkar report and his support to the anti-nuclear deal lobby is the context in which the cable is sent.

“Both Natwar and Jaswant Singh epitomise high-caste pride and unwillingness to admit to error.

“These have led them to compound their problems by blaming the Congress, the UPA and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for their fall from grace and joining with UPA opponents to work against the government.

“Both men have allied themselves with an anti-US group in Parliament, which the press has called the 'nuclear club' because of its hostility to the US-India Civil Nuclear Accord,” says the cable.

“The ‘Nuclear Club’ has fabricated a loose alliance that has worked jointly against the pact, and backed Natwar Singh's motion against the Prime Minister,” states the cable.